The latest work, after six years of silence, from Italian berlin-based composer, performer and publisher (Black Letter Press) Claudio Rocchetti, and a welcomed return on the Die Schachtel imprint after the brilliant Another Piece of teenage wildlife (2008), Labirinto verticale (Vertical Maze) takes its origin from the four years long collaboration of Rocchetti with the Parma-based Fondazione Lenz, a contemporary theatre research collective/organization.
Immersed in this very fertile milieu, inspired by the writings of Hölderlin and Calderon de la Barca, and orbiting around the concepts of Memory, Sedimentation, Presence/Absence, Rocchetti produced several hours of music, a selection of which is collected in this album, that marks the n.5 in the internationally acclaimed Die Schachtel’s series “Decay Music”, perfectly fitting its mission, which is to explore the more “intangible”, “decomposing” (in a re-generative sense of the term) borders between experimental sound and “proper” music with a special focus on the more interesting experiences of the contemporary Italian scene.
For sure the series of delicate, eerie pieces that composes Rocchetti’s Vertical Maze are of an intangible, almost “phantasmic” quality (in Rocchetti’s words), a sort of alchemic “opera al nero” characterized by a ghostly use of fragments of the human voice, that surfaces in a subtle maelstrom of otherworldly sounds, created, manipulated and decomposed with the use of cassette tapes, re-recording sessions reminiscent of Alvin Lucier’s I am Sitting in a Room masterpiece of sonic refractions, feedbacks, sounds either found or collected during the rehearsals or the theatrical workshops and shows, and – as a finishing touch – Rocchetti’s own voice used to imitate artificial sounds or instruments and further re-mixed in a game of sonic mirrors that transports the listener in a completely new concept of melancholia, hauntology and at times on the verge of discomfort, managing anyway to remain in the space of a gratifying and accessible listening experience.
Hosted in the usual silver-silkscreened deep black cardboard with a crux-shaped maze (the image is the 16th Century Labirinto figurato by Francesco Segala) as the main image, on which the silkscreened clear plastic sleeve (another signature of the series) superimposes the “alchemic” custom lettering designed by Bruno Stucchi – dinamomilano, Labirinto verticale is pressed on high quality heavy black vinyl in 300 copies, and presents itself as one of the diamond heads of the series as well as of the entire Italian musical production of the year.
Claudio Rocchetti is one of the most active European avant musicians of the last decade. His work is mainly focused on concrete pastiches as the result of hardware live manipulation, turntable feedbacks and various recorded sources and objects.
Fondazione Lenz is a contemporary theatre research collective/organization whose aim is to create complex performative and visual contemporary projects, alongside musical and theatrical co-productions to be completed in collaboration with regional, national, and international institutions. Their work also includes integrated workshops for people with mental, intellectual, or sensorial disabilities. Their recent projects of contemporary creative performance are the result of an in-depth artistic research into visual, filmic, spatial, dramaturgical and sonic arts. In a convergent aesthetic between interpretative loyalty to the script, visual radicality in filmic creation, and originality in conceptual extremism with artistic installations, Lenz’s work rewrites the philosophical tensions and aesthetic unease of the contemporary into a visionary language.
released April 14, 2023
Labirinto verticale is the result of four years of collaboration with Fondazione Lenz.
This record contains excerpts from the following performances:
Il grande teatro del mondo (2018), La vida es sueño (2019), Altro stato (2020) and La vita è sogno (2021). A special thanks go to Francesco Pititto (dramaturgy, imagoturgia) and Maria Federica Maestri (direction).
Produced by Bruno Stucchi and Fabio Carboni, Die Schachtel
Design and typography by Bruno Stucchi, dinamomilano.com
Cover and labels images taken from Labirinto figurato by Francesco Segala (16th Century)